Help! My 7 year old 2nd grader will not poop on the potty.
by Zoraida Matos
(Maplewood, NJ, USA)
My son has refused to be fully potty trained since we started when he was a toddler. He jumps around and holds his belly in whenever he feels the sensation to poop. He rarely sits still because he often feels the sensation to go. We have tried everything from rewards to punishment. We had him seeing a therapist who concluded that he has a lot of anxiety issues. The worse part of this situation is that he is really irritable all of the time. I worry constantly that he will get sick because he is withholding his bowel movements. Of course, when he can hold it anymore, he usually goes in his underwear. What can I do?
My next step was to take him to a child psychiatrist and have him evaluated. I know he is capable of going to the bathroom, because he has evacuated in the past and was very proud of himself. But then, just like that, he stops and doesn't do it again. He gets very angry when we try to talk to him about the importance of being clean and going to the bathroom. It is really upsetting to see him struggle with what clearly is something he can do for himself. How do I help him?